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Opening Arguments

Keep it transparent

The Indiana blogosphere has a lot to say on the matter of Matt Kelty's campaign-finance-disclosure problem. Some, such as Fort Wayne Libertarian Mike Sylvester, think the Kelty for Mayor campaign just made a mistake in reporting, and it's too bad the filing laws are so complex that a lawyer is needed to understand them. Jeff Pruitt at Fort Wayne Left thinks it's pretty clear Kelty broke campaign finance law. The liberal blog Taking Down Words seems gleeful that a "Fort Wayne right-winger" would be in such a pickle, while the conservative Angry White Boy thinks the whole thing will blow over but is distressed at the bad advice Kelty must have gotten from lawyers. Left of Centrist doesn't want to "come right out and call Kelty a liar" -- but, after all, what else would you expect from a Republican? Advance Indiana seems convinced of Kelty's guilt, and Fort Wayne Observed links to the actual amended campaign finance report filed by Kelty.

The Election Board will decide what laws, if any, it thinks were broken, and the courts will be involved if need be, so perhaps we ought to reserve judgment on that part. But the burden of proof is clearly on Kelty to convince us he wasn't trying to make his campaign less than transparent. Contributions he reported as personal loans to himself were actually loans to him by people close to his campaign, the bulk of the money coming from Frederick Rost, a Kelty campaign adviser and president of Allen County Right to Life. Rost also funded the Zogby poll -- anonymously at first -- that had results favorable to Kelty, and Kelty has insisted all along he did not know who paid for the poll. How is a reasonable person not supposed to think that Kelty wants to keep the public from knowing who is financing his mayoral candidacy?

Campaign-finance laws have become more and more convoluted and ridiculous, with so many rules about who can give what to whom that ordinary people can't be blamed for not even wanting to get involved in supporting a candidate. Every time the politicians try to tighten the rules, for example trying to differentiate "hard" money from "soft," the candidates find loopholes. The one thing we should insist on is knowing where the money comes from.

I don't care if a candidate gets $1 million from one donor or $1 each from a million donors, as long as I know where the money came from. It is neither her nor there that Kelty is getting a lot of backing from pro-lifers. We should feel the same about disclosure if he were being funded by Planned Parenthood or labor unions or UFO clubs. As long as voters know where the money is coming from, they can use that information as part of the decision-making process when choosing whom to vote for.


Sat, 05/26/2007 - 12:54pm

When your Candidate is involved in a scandal that can be described with the word "-Gate"- KLETY-GATE!, Its a sure bet your candidate is TOAST! (rhymes with Rost/roast). And be careful when dealing with anyone named Gehl. you just might end up there (JAIL).
candidate shoots self in foot, camapgin crippled. film@11.
Luckily, I voted in the GOP Primary, just in case. And I hit the mother of all Jackpots! guess it pays to gamble!!

BTW, I'm the Hail-Mary(holy crap!)3rd string walk-on punt receiver, just in case the current Mayoral candidate is ejected from the game..ohh! the Irony!
I guess it wont be steve shine in '09, either..

Robert Rouse
Sat, 05/26/2007 - 4:42pm

Actually, I don't say he's lying because he's a Republican, heck, Billy Clinton lied. I just pointed out that Republicans recently have taken to calling their fibs "misspeaking" or "errors in judgment" - see Al "Gonzo" and Monica Goodling. Now Matt Kelty is telling us that when he said he loaned the money to his own campaign that he actually meant that he didn't loan the money to his own campaign. By the way, Matt, I own the Columbia Street Bridge - oops, I misspoke, what I actually meant to say was that I have driven over that bridge.

Sun, 05/27/2007 - 2:36pm

Credo has writing about Matt Kelty when the Main media was ignoring him. Credo weighed in the blogosphere converstation about Kelty's campaign report and the disservice he received from his party chair and listed quite a few of the links to the story on her blog.

Although she was not mentioned here, she decided to involve herself in the dialogue. check out her blog.

Mon, 05/28/2007 - 12:02pm

The title of this post is "Keep it Transparent", but Leo refuses to acknowledge that two of the bloggers he linked worked as volunteers for the Kelty campaign.

You can't make this stuff up.

Leo Morris
Mon, 05/28/2007 - 6:41pm

Roach: Could you come up with something more insighftul than "giggle!"?

Robert: Point taken.

Credo: Glad you're in the debate; if I'd found a post of yours while I was looking for Kelty stuff, I would have linked to it.

Craig: I "refused to acknowledge" the connections of everybody I linked to, including the heavyweight Indianapolis Democratic operative. This seemed to be a good opportunity to express my own opinion and, by linking to posts from across the political spectrum, give people the information they needed to make up their own minds. I understand that you have a desperate need to be taken seriously, but you might want to consider that being a silly twit is not the best way to do it.

tim zank
Tue, 05/29/2007 - 3:03am

Leo, aptly put. You should consider making Sunday night your weekly "answer the crank" feature.